Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Giving Brians (er, Brions) a Good Name
Last night's Jon Brion concert at Canal Room (the 10:30 show) was, in a word, fuckingamazing. After a late start (11:15-ish), he played an hour-and-a-half set filled with original tunes, jams, and covers (everything from Beatles to Kanye West to Psychedelic Furs to Fats Waller). Some songs were played just on guitar, some just on piano, but the amazing moments were when he would turn into a one-man band. He starts at the drum kit, playing anywhere from 4 to 32 bars, then looping it. As the drums continue to play, he heads to the piano and plays a sequence, looping that as well. Then on to the electric guitar, which he modifies into a bass to loop a bass line. Then maybe he'll loop a guitar part or 3 before playing the lead guitar line in real time while singing. You've never seen anything like it.
Around 1am, he ended his official set but invited people to stick around for some fun. He came back out 30 minutes later to play another full set made up solely of requests. He can play almost anything the crowd shouted out ("Life on Mars," "Sail Away," "Hook Line & Sinker")… his wealth of musical knowledge is staggering. Just to know all the lyrics is an accomplishment, let alone to be able to play the songs, on multiple instruments, simultaneously.
After another hour (and many pints of Guinness), he finally thanked the crowd and stumbled offstage. It's a concert I won't soon forget.
For all you New Yorkers, he has added another show tonight at Canal Room… and West Coast readers, he plays every Friday night at Largo.


Anonymous said...

Jon Brion is the best!

Anonymous said...

Jon Brion is so much better than Last Stop This Town.

Anonymous said...

But Last Stop This Town is pretty good but I miss the angry rants of his early days (not!)

Jon said...

Thanks for the kind words. Glad you had a fun time.